Criminal Justice News

Monday, November 10, 2014

Former Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Deputy Sentenced to 92 Years in Prison for Civil Rights, Bank Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft Violations




Former Officer Stole Victim’s Debit Card and Other Items after Responding to Car Accident

Former Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Hebert, 49, was sentenced to serve 92 years in prison for a series of offenses Hebert committed while he was a sheriff’s deputy.  The sentence was announced by Acting Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta for the Civil Rights Division; U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite Jr. for the Eastern District of Louisiana; Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Anderson of the FBI New Orleans Field Office; and Sheriff Newell Normand from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. 

U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo issued the sentence today, also ordering Hebert to pay $13,215.22 in restitution between the bank and estate of the victim.  Additionally, Judge Milazzo imposed a term of five years of supervised release following the term of imprisonment.  During the five year term the defendant will be under federal supervision and risks an additional term of imprisonment should he violate any terms of his supervised release.

According to court documents, Hebert was sentenced for crimes that started with an incident on Aug. 2, 2007, when Hebert, in his capacity as a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Deputy, responded to an automobile accident involving Albert Bloch and stole Bloch’s debit card and other items.  Thereafter, between Aug. 2 and Nov. 21, 2007, Hebert engaged in a scheme to defraud J.P. Morgan Chase Bank N.A. (Chase Bank) by using Bloch’s debit card to make unauthorized purchases of merchandise, and to withdraw funds from Bloch’s Chase Bank account via ATM.  After Bloch filed a dispute with the bank and the bank cancelled the debit card, Hebert continued his scheme to defraud by negotiating and attempting to negotiate forged checks drawn from Bloch’s account.  Hebert then obtained a replacement debit card that the bank sent to Bloch’s address, and used that card to make further unauthorized transactions at Chase Bank ATMs.

During the course of the 2007 scheme to defraud, Bloch disappeared and has never been found.  After a four-day evidentiary hearing in July 2014, Judge Milazzo found by clear and convincing evidence that Hebert was responsible for the death and disappearance of Bloch.  The court announced that it considered this finding in issuing Hebert sentence.

“Former Deputy Hebert used his position as a law enforcement officer to in callous scheme to exploit and defraud the victim,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Gupta.  “The Civil Rights Division, with the help of its federal and local law enforcement partners, will continue to vigorously prosecute cases such as these, where members of law enforcement egregiously violate their oaths in order to deprive individuals of their civil rights.”

“Today’s sentencing is the result of the successful collaboration of local and state law enforcement agencies in our continued fight to eradicate corruption in our community,” said U.S. Attorney Polite.  “The U.S. Attorney’s Office and its law enforcement partners are delivering the same message in a unified voice: we will not tolerate abuse of power and official position.  If you violate the public trust in Southeast Louisiana, you will be held accountable.”        

“Rigorous investigation of such criminal betrayals of oaths of office, as in the Hebert case, will continue to be a top priority for the FBI and its law enforcement partners, and will further cement our already very strong relationship with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office,” said Special Agent in Charge Anderson.

“I am satisfied with today’s sentencing of former Deputy Hebert,” said Jefferson Parish Sheriff Normand.  “In as much as I am disappointed in the actions of former Deputy Hebert, I am very pleased that my investigators were instrumental in developing the investigation with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI.  This activity will not be tolerated in my department.”

The investigation of this matter was conducted by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office Detective’s Bureau and the FBI.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Parker, Assistant U.S. Attorney Tony Sanders, and Civil Rights Division Trial Attorney Shan Patel.

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